Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Who remembers and why does it matter?

So, I took a week off there - sorry for not sharing that I would! Welcome back.

Last week, on the East Side Public Education Coalition's blog, Dr. Harlan Rich shared "Reflections on Change and 'Institutional Memory'" in response to ProJo coverage of the exodus (some by budget-cutting position elimination, some by retirement/moving on to new opportunities) of nearly all of PPSD's leadership team. Dr. Rich's thoughts on the largely untapped value of parents as key stakeholders and points of continuity/agents of change can and should be successfully expanded to include students, alumni, and community members as we face a down a new school year starting startlingly soon with a new acting superintendent, extremely strained relations between the Mayor's office and the school board, and--with all of the accompanying opportunities and challenges--without the aforementioned departed leadership team (COO Carleton Jones and acting chief academic officer Paula Shannon excepted).

Dr. Rich makes the point that PPSD has a substantial if inconsistent history of involving parents in decisions about school leadership and other planning. The district needs to stay the course on that and go much further, developing policies and a culture that systematically--across neighborhood, language, and other differences--involves and includes parents/family members, students, and neighborhood stakeholders.


  1. In a parent-driven district, the East Side wins every time.

  2. I agree, which is why we need systems and policies to ensure equity + more community involvement than parents. That there is power differential among neighborhoods isn't an argument for cutting family/community involvement out entirely. It's an argument for strengthening the ways families have opportunities and incentives to speak out for our kids and have our input matter.